Spartans cage Cougars
By Frank Kastreva, WVCD2.com
HAZLETON Harmon-Geist Stadium in downtown Hazleton is a place that has not been so kind to the Valley West Spartans and their legendary head coach George Curry.
The Cougars came into the ballgame with two consecutive wins over Valley West since “King George” made the move to Spartan land.
In fact, Rocco Petrone and his Hazleton Area Cougars have been on the winning side of Curry coached teams since 2004.
Petrone and Hazleton Area downed Berwick in their final game of 2005, knocking Berwick out of the playoffs. It was Curry’s final season in Dawgtown.
Hazleton Area also gave the Spartans their first loss in 2006 and 2007 with Curry at the helm. Valley West came in to both of those games unbeaten.
Tonight, the tides turned and Valley West was the one knocking off the unbeaten as the Cougars came in with an unblemished record, only to have the Maroon and Gold destroy it on homecoming night at Hazleton Area.
The Spartans found themselves down 7-0 in the first quarter as Jr. Chad Nicholas returned a punt 55 yards to paydirt. It would be the only score of the half.
Valley West moved the ball quite a bit in the first half, but had nothing to show for it due to turnovers and penalties. On the defensive side of the ball the Spartans only allowed one first down the entire first half.
The Spartans would come out in the second half reeling off 24 unanswered points while only giving up one score which came late in the fourth quarter.
Scoring for the Maroon and Gold were So. George Simms, Sr. Ali Muhammad, Sr. Dave Ryncavage and Sr. Bill McGuinness on a 30 yard FG.
With the win the Valley West Spartans have climbed right back in the quad A playoff race, which may be a surprise to some, but not to all.
“We know we have to run the table for any kind of shot to qualify for the state tourney, so we must stay focused. As seniors we must lead the way, we have made the playoffs in the last two season, we don’t want to lose that streak in our final year.” said Jack Crossin from the Spartan’s locker room.
As for those local sports writers that claimed Valley West will now have to play the spoiler role, please tally up the playoff points, because your story is the only thing that’s spoiled NOW!
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